Clint Howard Reveals His Fondest Memory Growing up as a Child Star

by Megan Molseed

Clint Howard and his brother, Ron Howard have spent much of their lives in the center of Hollywood.

While Clint’s brother Ron was making his name in the business starring on some of television’s most memorable shows first as Opie Taylor on The Andy Griffith Show, and finally as Richie Cunningham on Happy Days, Clint Howard was forging his own path in films around the same time.

In 1967, Clint was featured in the hit Disney film The Jungle Book. And, later in 1979, Clint Howard found an unforgettable role starring with the iconic punk rock group the Ramones in Rock ‘n’ Roll High School.

Howard also starred in the series Gentle Ben from 1967 until 1969.

Growing up in Hollywood certainly gave Clint Howard quite a few memorable experiences.

However, there is one experience in particular from Howard’s early acting days that has stuck with him over the years. The moment he first met the iconic Walt Disney, face-to-face.

Howard Will Never Forget His Disney Encounter

“It’s surprising that a 7-year-old could be bowled over by seeing and meeting someone,” Clint Howard mused of his being star-struck over meeting Walt Disney. “But you got to remember I was a Disney baby.”

Even as a baby, Disneyland was a big part of his life, the actor recalls.

“I went to Disneyland for the first time in a baby stroller,” Clint Howard explains. “Mom took us to Disneyland religiously.”

The Star Trek: The Original Series star adds that he was quite young when he first saw Walt Disney since the encounter occurred while he was busy filming Disney’s The Jungle Book.

“When I saw [Walt Disney] – it was like a silhouette in the engineer’s booth,” said Howard.

“I was recording my voice for The Jungle Book and I saw Walt Disney and he kind of looked at me through the engineer’s window,” the actor added.

Clint Howard went on to remember how the great Walt Disney took a moment out of his day to speak to him during the recording.

The ‘Magic’ of the Business

A moment that all these years later, means a lot to the actor.

“He stuck his head into the recording studio – the main recording studio at Disney – he took one step inside the recording studio,” Howard recalls of the big moment.

“He gave me sort of a military wave and he said, ‘You’re doing a fine job, Clint,’ and he turned and walked out,” the actor continues. “It just blew me away.”

For Clint Howard, this exchange meant so much more to him than simply meeting a famous person. For him, it was a truly magical moment.

“I’ve been on the inside of the magic of the business for a long time,” the actor explains.

“And yet, he represented the anchor,” Clint Howard adds. “His smiling face is something I will never forget.”